Third major ratings agency downgrades Alaska credit

Crew clean up in front of the capitol in JUneau.

Credit ratings agencies have cited Alaska’s $3.8 billion budget deficit and ongoing legislative gridlock in downgrading the state’s credit. (Photo by Rachel Waldholz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The third major credit ratings agency has weighed in on Alaska’s fiscal health.

New York-based Fitch Ratings announced Tuesday morning that it is lowering the state’s long term credit rating from AAA — its highest rating — to AA+, citing the state’s massive budget gap.

It follows downgrades earlier this year from the other two major ratings agencies, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service.

The credit downgrades will make it more expensive for the state to borrow money in the future.

All three agencies have said they expect Alaska’s rating to slip lower if oil prices remain low and the state continues to rely solely on savings to cover the deficit.

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